Multi-proxy identification of the Laschamp geomagnetic field excursion in Lake Pupuke, New Zealand

Andreas Nilsson, Raimund Muscheler, Ian Snowball, Ala Aldahan, Göran Possnert, Paul Augustinus, Daniel Atkin, Tom Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


We present palaeomagnetic and cosmogenic radionuclide records of the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion in Lake Pupuke, a maar lake in Auckland, New Zealand. Laschamp was identified by a combination of relative palaeointensity, 10Be and 14C data from the lake sediments and represents the first such record from the Southern Hemisphere. Despite the high organic carbon content, which causes relatively weak natural remanent magnetisations, the geomagnetic intensity minimum associated with the Laschamp excursion is identifiable as a relative palaeointensity minimum that is synchronous with (i) a peak in 10Be concentration and (ii) an anomaly in Δ14C. The Lake Pupuke time scale, provided by 14C data calibrated with INTCAL09, places the 10Be maximum at the same time as a 10Be maximum in Greenland ice cores when secured to the GICC05 time scale. The central age of the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion in Lake Pupuke as defined by the 10Be prediction peak is c. 41kyr, which confirms its global application as a palaeomagnetic isochron. Anomalous palaeomagnetic directional data at c. 32kyr in the Lake Pupuke sediments may represent the Mono Lake geomagnetic excursion, but tephra layers caused by frequent eruptions in the Auckland volcanic field during this excursion probably disrupted the palaeointensity signal. The study highlights the value of combining traditional palaeomagnetic methods with measurements of cosmogenic radionuclides in the quest for accurate and precise geochronologies during MIS3, a time of rapid global climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Cosmogenic radionuclides
  • Geomagnetic field intensity
  • Lake Pupuke
  • Lake sediments
  • Laschamp excursion
  • Palaeomagnetism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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